Samsung'sis a superb all-round flagship, but its follow up, the , is already peeking over the horizon. We've seen a few scattered rumors around 200-megapixel image sensors and slightly smaller displays, but being the demanding tech addict I am, I have my own wish list of things I want to see on Samsung's next superphone.
The S22 isn't likely to arrive until January next year, and there are sure to be a lot more rumors before then. We've also got the launch of the, expected some time in September, and maybe . Those launches may well influence my wish list and Samsung's plans for its own phones. Expect to see this article updated as the months progress and keep an eye on CNET's ongoing .
Here then, are my top five wishes for the Galaxy S22.
The camera on theis superb, with an awesome optical zoom that lets you get shots that few phones can compare to. But it wasn't a big upgrade over the S20. Both had 100x zooms, both did 8K video, both had 108-megapixel sensors. The S20 Ultra was the big leap forward, the S21 Ultra just refined it slightly. It's time then for a bigger update, and already we're seeing rumors of 200-megapixel sensors and much-improved zoom systems on the S22 Ultra.
That would be lovely, but more megapixels doesn't necessarily mean better photos, so I'd also like to see an even bigger image sensor -- maybe a 1-inch sensor. It's no secret that a bigger image sensor allows for better dynamic range in a photo. If Samsung paired that resolution with a big sensor capable of capturing tons of light and contrast details it could have an absolutely astonishing camera system on its hands.
But Samsung needs to make sure its software is on point too. There are more advances needed to allow for improved computational photography and better raw image capture. Apple's: It can capture beautiful HDR images that still give me full control over editing in apps like Adobe Lightroom, just as I would with any raw file from a DSLR. Samsung's software isn't quite at that level and I'd like to see more focus here.
Samsung used to allow you to expand the base storage of its phones with microSD cards, but it removed that option with the S21 range. This means you're stuck with only the phone's built-in storage.
That might not be an issue on lower models in the range, particularly if you don't shoot a lot of video or play many demanding games, but if you're into your photos and videos and you plumped for the Ultra model, that base storage can be limiting. If you shoot 8K videos on the S21 Ultra you'll know that you can fill up that storage quickly -- and it'll go even faster if Samsung brings 200-megapixel photos to the S22. I can't even begin to imagine how big those files might be. The 512GB maximum storage currently available on the S21 Ultra won't last long.
Even if you're not into photography, there are plenty of glossy games on the Google Play store (such as Asphalt 9: Legends) that are multiple gigabytes in size and may result in you having to delete other apps or media in order to make room.
Popping in a microSD card would allow you to dramatically increase the storage by 1TB or more, which would give a huge amount of space for all your apps and videos. But then Samsung wouldn't be able to charge you extra for a higher-capacity model, so don't cross your fingers for this one.
Dedicated AMD graphics
The S21 series already offers superb performance all-round, but a partnership between Samsung and graphics chip manufacturer AMD has us hoping for a big leap forward in graphics power for gaming applications. This partnership actually happened, but so far Samsung hasn't stuffed any kind of AMD hardware into its phones.
I'd love to see dedicated AMD graphics on the S22 line that pushes the boundaries of what we expect from mobile gaming. Sure, some games already come close to rivalling quality you'd expect on older consoles, but if Samsung and AMD could give that processing power a big push forward, it could allow for a lot more console-standard games to make their way to phones, turning your handset into a capable mobile games console.
Today's top-end phones with the best specs around are, let's face it, huge. The S21 Ultra measures a whopping 6.8 inches, while even Apple's iPhone 12 Pro Max comes in at 6.68 inches. That means that if you want the best performance and the best camera, you've got to be prepared to stretch out those jeans pockets to accommodate a massive slab of a phone. And maybe start doing some thumb exercises to help stretch them across the screen.
I'd love to see smaller versions -- 6 inches or under -- that don't force you to compromise on performance. There are rumors suggesting the base S22 models might get a little reduction in screen size, which is great news if you have smaller hands, but there's unlikely to be any real size reduction in the top-end Ultra model. So yet again we'll likely be in a situation where buying a smaller phone size means missing out on those top-end features. Excuse me while I go and sew expansion panels into my pockets.
Sure, we all want the best tech and we want it wrapped up in a slick design, packed with cool new features. But we also want it to be affordable. That's a difficult combination to achieve, but Samsung did manage to make its S21 range cheaper than the preceding S20 series. It needed to, as the S20 series didn't sell well, in part due to financial uncertainty around COVID-19.
Samsung employed a range of tactics to make the S21 range more affordable, including swapping out the glass backs on some models for strengthened plastic. And you know what? It worked. It also knocked a decent amount off the asking price. While the base Galaxy S20 went on sale for $1,000, the base S21 undercut that at $800. So I'm keen to see similar decisions being made with the S22 that will allow for a great all-round mobile experience at an approachable price.
So what I'm asking for is a super-powered, AMD-equipped phone with the world's best camera that'll also fit comfortably in the palm of your hand, that's reasonably priced and lets you expand the storage on the cheap. That's not too much to ask, is it Samsung? Come on guys, step up.